The Muppet Movie Minute 6: Norma Rae Minute by Minute

We zoom into a swamp. We learn about said swamp. We begin a legendary song.

 

NOTES AND RESEARCH

Pretty solid transition from real world location to soundstage

Spanish moss on trees

Love how swoops right down to his level then zooms in

Kermit’s Swamp

  • Kermit the Frog’s home
  • It was first shown in The Muppet Movie
  • Although The Muppet Movie does not specify the Swamp’s location, many reviews of the film, referred to it as a “Georgia swamp.”
  • A 1978 draft of the script referred to the Swamp simply as “a swamp in the deep south.”
  • Some evidence suggests that the Swamp is actually Okefenokee Swamp, a large wetland that straddles the border between Georgia and Florida.
  • in The Muppet Show episode 509, Kermit’s nephew Robin appears as a member of the Precision Drill Team from the Okefenokee Pack 12 of the Frog Scouts of America.
  • Finally, one installment of The Muppets comic strip shows Kermit and Miss Piggy visiting Okefenokee Swamp to meet Kermit’s relatives.
  • In contrast, Kermit’s Swamp Years has the swamp situated in Mississippi, just outside of Leland.
Muppets Comic Strip
From Kermit Swamp Years

 

Rainbow Connection

Rainbows are visions, but only illusions, and rainbows have nothing to hide.

So we’ve been told and some choose to believe it.

I know they’re wrong wait and see.

Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection.

The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Who said that wishes would be heard and answered when wished on the morningstar?

Someone thought of that and someone believed it.

 

About the Song

  • “The Rainbow Connection” is a song written by Paul Williams and Kenneth Ascher for The Muppet Movie and originally performed by Kermit the Frog.
  • The song was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song in 1979.
    • Best Music, Original Song: Paul Williams and Kenny Ascher (for The Rainbow Connection)
    • Lost to Norma Rae, David Shire (music), Norman Gimbel (lyrics) for the song It Goes Like It Goes
  • The single of this song reached #25 on Billboard’s “Hot 100 Singles” chart in 1979
  • American Film Institute named Rainbow Connection the 74th greatest movie song of all time in AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs http://www.afi.com/100Years/songs.aspx

Inspired by “When You Wish Upon a Star”

Although they had nearly completed the song, they had difficulty coming up with a title until a friend of Williams asked them “What’s the problem? You having difficulty finding that rainbow connection between people and their dreams?” They knew at once that they had their title.

In the Music, Mayhem and More! CD booklet, Williams briefly shared the creative process that surrounds “The Rainbow Connection” and the movie’s finale, as follows:

“ It’s one of two favorite songs I’ve written in my life, and oddly, they’re both from The Muppet Movie. (The other is ‘I’m Going to Go Back There Someday.’) When we started working on the film, Kenny and I and Jim and Jerry Juhl all agreed that we had to establish Kermit’s soul from the very beginning. And to do that, he has to ponder some big questions. Kenny and I began to write this song — the song addresses that inner voice that tells Kermit he can try to do these big things. Then Jerry Juhl did this great thing in the script at the end, when the stage explodes and the end of the rainbow appears — the actual ‘rainbow connection.’ That’s the proof of the whole Muppet philosophy. ”

In Jim Henson’s childhood hometown of Leland, Mississippi, a local bridge was named “The Rainbow Connection,” in his honor on September 24, 2011 (Henson’s 75th birthday).

Rainbow Connection Bridge in Leland, Mississippi

(These are mostly my thoughts and observations. I have occasionally added some of Annie’s thoughts after the recording. I have done my best to attribute info where needed. Many of the more common facts about the film and The Muppets are not directly attributed to any one source. It is not my intention to claim all of the above information as my own. If you find a place that needs attribution, please contact me with the source and I will be happy to add it.)